36 Points is a remarkable particle-based procedural system developed by Sage Jenson and released on Feral File. The system represents the culmination Jenson’s three years of research into complex biological systems. The title references the 36 unique compositions that can be formed when users press the 0-9/A-Z keys to generate different configurations. Each new composition displays intricate layers of endless life-like particles diffusing and evolving into new forms. The simulations reveal several traits including self-organization, non-linear dynamics, phase transitions and evolutionary dynamics involving collapse and growth. Over time the alternate configurations will drift back to the original composition creating a visual loop of the systems life-cycle.
In “36 Points,” the keyboard is an instrument for traversing curated locales within the phase space of a home-grown bio-sim. A multitude of particle-agents inhabit this playable terrarium. Their emergent behavior feeds-back and folds onto itself to create a rich and evolving primordium, teeming with material potentiality. The system yearns for the next keystroke, a symphony vibrating within a virtual membrane.
Each edition provides the collector with a unique system state that is loaded at instantiation. To access any of the other points, the user may press keys 0-9 or a-z, and the system will interpolate into its new state. However, the point will drift back to its original configuration over time.
“36 Points” culminates three years of research into Sage’s first web-based instrument. The embedding of the system within the web is intentional, as browsers offer cross compatibility and built-in interactivity. This also allows for the pieces to be collectable, yet open. It is interesting to note that the total file size of the work is 32kB.